Joined: 04 Aug 2005
Location: Denver metro area
|Posted: Tue Oct 31, 2006 8:52 am Post subject: Dissecting Stamp – Introduction
|When I studied with Jimmy Stamp, he continually would stop me as I played an exercise and correct me. It was a rare occasion when I didn't get corrected. Every drill had to be played perfectly.
After 25 years away from the trumpet (and now almost two years back), I had been wondering what Jimmy could possibly have been hearing. How could he hear the small nuances that gave away my mistakes in applying his techniques? Well, now I know what he heard.
I had opportunity recently to sit in the vendor room for two days at the Rocky Mountain Trumpet Fest. During that time, quite a few trumpeters used the Stamp Warmup 3 as part of trying out horns. . . and all but one did the exercises wrong. Stamp exercises played wrong will not improve your playing. I don't know how many of those players have Roy's book (Guide to the Brasswind Methods of J.Stamp, by Roy Poper), but if they do, apparently it is still very difficult to understand how to execute the drills. If what I heard is typical of what is going on out there, then I certainly believe that players who haven't studied with Stamp (or with one of his students), need a more extensive, in-depth explanation of how to play the exercises.
In my opinion, if you don't execute the James Stamp Method correctly, you may as well just throw the books away and go do something else for your warmup. In my next post (which, hopefully, will be on this evening at the latest), I am going to take the first measure of Exercise 3 and dissect it, note by note. My hope is to make this explanation clear enough that you will understand exactly what Jimmy meant for you to learn in the application of this part of his method. To have named his book a "Warmup" method is actually both true and false. Yes, it is a warmup method, but it is also a way of playing trumpet that must be applied to all aspects of your playing. Learning to play Stamp correctly will help you play the trumpet more easily by improving your sound, intonation, consistency and precision.
Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving in an attractive, well preserved body–but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, wine in the other, body used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"